Thursday, December 13, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks #231: It's a Party

This being Thursday, it's time for another edition of Thursday Movie Picks, the blogathon run by Wandering Through the Shelves. This week's theme is "It's a Party". So cry if you want to. But as for me, I'll pick three movies that fit the theme, all of which happen to be from the mid-1930s:

Remember Last Night? (1935). A bunch of society types hold a wild party where they get really drunk. So blackout drunk that the next morning none of them can remember anything they did. The problem is that in the morning they find their host's dead body in his bed, clearly having been murdered. How is anybody going to figure out who done it? Detective Edward Arnold has the duty of trying to do the figuring.

Hollywood Party (1934). Jimmy Durante is about to premiere his next Schnarzan movie (with the tagline "Don't miss this if you can!") and to promote it, he and the studio throw a party at his house in hopes of getting an explorer's real lions. It's really an excuse for a whole bunch of sketch comedy, with a visit to MGM by Mickey Mouse who shows a Technicolor short (I think the Disney shorts at this time were being distributed by United Artists but in any case Disney didn't have its own distribution the way it does now).

Triumph of the Will (1935). Leni Riefenstahl's document of the Nazi Party rally in Nuremburg in 1934. If you can get a copy of the 1993 documentary The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl I highly recommend it as the movie is discussed in much detail there and Riefenstahl was still around (at 90) to discuss it and defend the directorial decisions she made in filming the movie. (She claims, for example, that Goebbels hated her putting a camera so close to Hitler, but that Hitler was such an effective public speaker that he was oblivious to it.)


joel65913 said...

Remember Last Night? is a delightful undiscovered gem. I just saw it within the last year and was charmed by it's mix of black humor and screwball.

Hollywood Party is a walking advertisement for its studio but as a star spotting opportunity its a good one.

Triumph of the Will is an interesting choice, I still haven't seen it but I will someday.

I did a mix of old and new.

The Reluctant Debutante (1958)-Sheila Broadbent, chic second wife of barrister Jimmy Broadbent (real life marrieds Rex Harrison & Kay Kendall) welcome Jimmy’s teenaged American raised daughter Jane (Sandra Dee) to London just as debutante season is beginning. Though Jane shows zero interest in participating Sheila spurred by competition with her snotty cousin Mabel Claremont (Angela Lansbury), and thinking she’s doing it for Jane’s own good, plunges all of them into the whirl of endless parties and balls each bring out a new teen into society. While Sheila hopes to pair Jane with the insufferable but wealthy David Fenner Jane has her own ideas and falls for the supposedly disreputable young drummer David Parkson (John Saxon). It’s all a fizzy roundelay with Kay Kendall stealing the show as the well-meaning Sheila. Sadly this was her second to last film, she died the next year of leukemia at 33.

Bachelor Party (1984)-The night before his wedding to fiancée Debbie (Tawny Kitaen) Rick (Tom Hanks) reluctantly goes out for a night of debauchery with his friends, ringleader Jay (Adrian Zmed) and depressed, recently divorced Brad (Bradford Bancroft). They run into Debbie's wealthy, disapproving father (George Grizzard) and her ex-boyfriend, Cole (Robert Prescott), who both attempt to stop the wedding. Meanwhile Debbie is taken out by her friends for adventures of their own. Raunchy comedy was a big hit for the fresh from TV Hanks helping put him on the track to superstardom.

Can’t Hardly Wait (1998)-The entire high school graduating class from football stars and cool girls to complete nerds gather at a wealthy classmate's home for a mega party. The artistic Preston (Ethan Embry) hopes to move in on Amanda (Jennifer Love Hewitt), the girl he’s loved from afar for years. Dorky William (Charlie Korsmo) schemes to pay back meathead Mike (Peter Facinelli) for years of bullying, and would-be rapper Kenny (Seth Green) gets locked in a room with snarky Denise (Lauren Ambrose).

Dell said...

Haven't seen any of these, but Remember Last Night? sounds really good.

Ted S. (Just a Cineast) said...

Well, the Nazis were a party, even if "party" in that sense wasn't what was intended.

And Remember Last Night? is quite good, although be warned that the partygoers get drunk enough to do a blackface scene

Sonia Cerca said...

I haven't seen any of these.

Birgit said...

I don’t even know the first 2 and now I would love to see them especially the first film. Triumph of the Will is n inspired choice even though it is a tough one. I still have not seen it because of the topic but will need to see it one day and would like to see that documentary on Leni